Professor Emerita

Nükhet Kardam
400 Pacific Street, D208
(831) 647-4147

Prof. Kardam started her career with a focus on organizational change and especially the response of international development agencies to gender issues. She publish one of the pioneering studies on what is now called “gender mainstreaming,” titled Bringing Women In: Women’s Issues in International Development Programs (Lynne Rienner 1991). She then turned her attention to how global women’s human rights norms are received and implemented in local contexts, publishing a book on the implementation of women’s human rights in Turkey called Turkey’s Engagement with Global Women’s Human Rights (Ashgate, 2005). 
Prof. Kardam has worked as an international gender consultant with various United Nations agencies and has been invited to UN expert committee meetings on global gender norms and policies throughout her career. She has undertaken needs assessment studies and evaluated women’s human rights programs and projects in Turkey, Turkmenistan, and Azerbaijan, among others. Prof. Kardam is also the holder of two Fulbright scholarships.

Courses Taught

Courses offered in the past two years.

  • Current term
  • Upcoming term(s)

This two-weekend course introduces participants to a variety of tools and methodologies for participatory needs assessment in the context of poverty. The goal of this course is to develop and apply the fundamental needs and assets assessment skills necessary for a career in international development. International aid agencies are now calling more and more for the kinds of ‘soft skills’ that help aid workers enter new communities, to come across as human beings who are self-aware and present, flexible and creative, who listen before talking or telling, and who understand that communication is much more than just ‘verbal’. The following topics will be covered: 1) An overview of Poverty, Social Change, Participation, and Asset-Based Development (including the importance of an Asset-Based approach in sustainable development; types of assets, including social capital); 2) An overview of participatory methods, tools, techniques and strategies applied in Asset Based Development activities. We will focus on how external facilitators interact with local participants and other stakeholder groups employing appropriate soft skills, which include the more traditional needs assessment tools, such as priority ranking, mapping, seasonal calendar, as well as somatic tools for effective communication in intercultural contexts.

Spring 2019 - MIIS, MIIS Workshop

View in Course Catalog

Meeting dates: February 25, 2019 - March 15, 2019

In this seminar, we first examine our own identities in a reflective and critical way. Why are some identities complementary to each other, while others are contradictory? Why are some identities repressed or redefined? In the second section of the course, we investigate the social construction of identities. How do we construct the ‘other’? Under what circumstances does the ‘other’ become the enemy? We discuss nation building in this context as one group’s power over others in defining the national identity, its myths, history, language and other defining characteristics. How does nation building empower particular ethnic, religious, racial groups in this process at the expense of others? Where is the balance between maintaining cultural diversity and group rights, at the same time creating a state which erases group privileges in order to promote individual rights and ‘citizens’ whose primary loyalty is to the ‘nation’? The third and final section of the course focuses on the problems related to the recognition of multiculturalism. We analyze policies on language, religion, culture, and ethnicity in specific countries with the aim of discovering the conditions that promote multiculturalism.

Spring 2019 - MIIS, Spring 2019 - MIIS, MIIS Workshop

View in Course Catalog

Areas of Interest

In addition to gender identity, Prof. Kardam’s research interests include self and identity in general and intercultural communication. She explored her and her family’s identity in the context of the Ottoman Empire’s demise and the rise of modern Turkey in a book: From Ottoman to Turk and Beyond published in digital and paperback form in both English and Turkish. She is currently working on a new project with Prof. Andrea Olsen of Middlebury College, tentatively titled “Reflective Practices for Social Change Practitioners.” 
Prof. Kardam’s teaching interests have closely paralleled her research. She has taught courses on Gender and Development, Women’s Human Rights, Development Theory and Practice, Social Sector Needs Assessment, Communicating for Social Change, and Power and Identity.

Academic Degrees

  • PhD in Political Science, Michigan State University
  • MA in International Relations, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
  • B.A in Philosophy from Istanbul University, Istanbul, Turkey

Professor Kardam has been teaching at the Institute since 1993.



  • Tracing Dr. Kilisi Rifat: From Ottoman to Turk and Beyond: Shimmering Threads of Identity, (Istanbul, Libra Kitap, 2017) and in Turkish Dr. Kilisli Rifatinizinde: Osmanlidan Türke ve Ötesi (Istanbul, DBY Yayinlari, 2017)
  • From Ottoman to Turk and Beyond: Shimmering Threads of Identity, (Nükhet Kardam, 2016)
  • Turkey’s Engagement with Global Women’s Human Rights, 2005 London: Ashgate Publishers
  • Bringing Women In: Women’s Issues in International Development Programs, 1992 Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers

Articles and Presentations

  • Kardam, Nükhet, and Lane, Brittany. “Women Communicating for Social Change is Way of Life,” The Women’s International Perspective. 5 May 2015.
  • INTERSECTION, Episode 46. Aslan Media. “Turkish Politics and Women’s Human Rights,” 2 September 2014. Radio.
  • Kardam, Nükhet, and Meltrem, Agduk. “Mobilizing Religious Leaders to Combat Violence against Women in Turkey.” The Women’s International Perspective. 14 August 2014.
  • Kardam, Nükhet (April 2013), TEDxMonterey “Watercolor Identities.”
  • Kardam, Nükhet and Fredric Kropp (2013), “Global Trends: Women as Social Entrepreneurs: a Case Study.” In Women in the Global Economy: Leading Social Change. Global Education Research Reports 8, edited by Trish Tierney. San Francisco, Institute of International Education
  • Ongoing Research Project in “Intercultural Modes of Thinking and Reasoning” at the Monterey Institute with Fusun Akarsu, Philip Murphy and Katherine Punteney - in countries like Macedonia, Israel, USA, Kyrgyzstan and Turkey.
  • “Turkey’s Response to the Global Gender Regime,” GEMC (Gender Equality and Multicultural Conviviality Journal), Tohoku University, no. 4, 2011
  • Leslie Eliason Teaching Excellence Award, 2010
  • Contributing author, UNIFEM, “Aid and Security,” in Progress of the World’s Women Report, 2008-2009.